By Muzna al Riyami -
Life has become a routine and we have devoted ourselves to work like machines to fulfil our ego and make our time more productive. Therefore, we need to break this routine from time to time so that we get relaxed and get back to work with more energy and positive vibration.
People these days escape into the wild away from the dense urban jungle that is surrounded by buildings, cars and concrete. They were hoping to establish a connection with nature.
Spending time immersed in nature observing, exploring and listening to what the outdoor has to say can change the way the brain functions. Moreover, being out in nature can help to relieve anxiety, stress and depression and contributes to a healthy foundation for personal well-being. Richard Louv, a journalist and author, says the results of nearly 1,000 studies “point in one direction: Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive functioning.”
Oman with its mesmerizing natural scenic beauty that is woven from mountains, plains, wadis and beaches has drawn plenty of locals and foreigners for adventure, exploration and recreation.
This surfeit of natural wonders creates a potential for outdoor activities and adventure sports such as hiking, abseiling, rock-climbing, diving and snorkelling. While many people are adventuring, whether individually or in groups, for personal purposes, some turn their love of adventures and exploration into a career to earn their living out of it.
Among those adventure seekers is Shamsa al Battashi, who considers the outdoors as a source of stimulation, seeking different terrain for her everyday life in nature activities.
After a long stressful week working in a bank, Shamsa decided to break the routine of her normal weekend and add some adventure to her life by engaging in an outdoor activity. The first trip in wild was in April 2019 to Snake Canyon in Wadi Bani Ouf. She chose to disappear into a peaceful area away from the city trying a new activity which was abseiling, and that trip was the turning point that changed her life.
“The enjoyment and feelings I felt after that trip was prodigious! It was the spark of addiction to adventure life’’, she expressed.
Shamsa’s best destination is the Snake Canyon, in which she started her journey of adventuring. The thrill of walking between the tall cliffs, narrow paths and blue pools make the trip unforgettable as she describes. Besides, she occasionally heads to adventure nearby wadis where she can enjoy a combination of hiking mountains, abseiling down waterfalls, and swimming in water basins or runoff valleys. Despite that, she travelled abroad to many countries, she is fascinated that Oman boosts the variation of its outstanding landscape that doesn’t require to depart the country to have a great adventure.
Involving in nature activities and sports is an ideal chance to step out of one’s comfort zone by which an individual breaks the chains of fear such as fear of heights, fear of swimming and insect phobia. Shamsa added, “being exposed to nature, experiencing and exploring, makes me a more relaxed and patient person, since I keep my normal busy lifestyle in a pause mode and drop everything behind to just live the moment in the lap of nature’’.
Shamsa also successfully climbed the summit of Jabal Shams, the highest peak in Oman and across the Arabian Gulf at an altitude of about 2,997 above sea level, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Arabia. “The route was around 23 km and took me around 15 hours to complete. It was a rugged route, but I was able to reach the summit’’, she shared.
Eventually, Shamsa advises the beginners who are about to set their first steps into the adventurers’ community to be physically fit and to do a few short attempts which are about 5 km as a warm-up and preferably to join teams or companies that are equipped with well-trained guides and safety gears.
“Life is too short, so live it fully’’, she said.